Wil Myers Named AL Rookie of the Year | The Process Report

Wil Myers Named AL Rookie of the Year

Wil Myers was named the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year. Myers, who turns 23 next month, received 23 out of a possible 30 first-place votes. He is the third player in Rays’ history to earn the honor (Evan Longoria in 2008 and Jeremy Hellickson in 2011). Teammate Chris Archer finished third. Myers is the first position player in AL history to win the award while playing in fewer than 100 games (88).

Acquired in the winter as the piece de resistance in the James Shields’ trade, everyone knew Myers had top-shelf talent. The only questions were when would he join the big league club? And how long would it take for him to produce? The answers: June 18 and immediately.

Myers hit .293/.354/.478 with 36 extra-base hits in 373 plate appearances. From the time of his call-up, he paced the Rays in double, runs scored, and in all three triple-slash categories. He showed a mature approach at the plate and tremendous bat speed; along with immense strength and solid plate coverage; especially with two strikes. Defensively, he played athletic with good range and strong arm. Meanwhile, his inexperience at the position showed at times. He is an aggressive runner — often taking the extra base — that could steal more bags as he gets a better feel for pickoff moves at the top level.

Following the announcement, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon spoke to the media about his young outfielder. Maddon praised Myers as a more complete player than he expected. He was complementary on Myers’ route running as well as his ability to run the bases. When asked where he sees potential room for improvement, Maddon mentioned playing balls off the wall as well as charging on grounders as areas to concentrate on. Offensively, he said Myers will go through many things typical of youth, but staying committed to the strikezone as a key. As for person within the player, the skipper said he sees winning the award as motivation for Myers moving forward. “I don’t think it’s a negative pressure thing” Maddon said.

I asked Maddon about his five stages of the major league career and where he sees Myers. Maddon said Myers is definitely at stage three or “I belong here. I can do this” phase. He said it is only natural that Myers will pass through stage four – ” I want to make as much money as possible” – but he already has an understanding of the final and fifth stage which is “all I want to do is win.” Maddon said Myers, who will make his “dough” in stage four (winning awards will help that process), could reach stage five “very soon.” Myers gave a glimpse of how close he is to that stage, saying “it’s always nice to win personal awards but at the end of the year you want to win the team award and the World Series.”

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